Film Series

Sleepers: Screening and Conversation

October 22, 2009

Based on a true story, Sleepers tells the story of four teenage boys who are sent to reform school, where they are brutalized by the guards, played by Ron Eldard and Billy Crudup.

Director, Barry Levinson, actor, Lorenzo Carcaterra, and lawyer, Charles J. Hynes, joined FOLCS for a screening and discussion.

Watch Sleepers: Screening and Conversation here.

See more from FOLCS here.

Barry Levinson

Academy Award–winning director, screenwriter and producer Barry Levinson has crafted an enviable reputation as a filmmaker who blends literate and intelligent visions into films. He was awarded the 1988 Best Director Oscar for the multiple Academy Award–winning Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise. In 1991 Bugsy, directed and produced by Levinson, was nominated for ten Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. As a screenwriter, Levinson has received three Oscar nominations for …And Justice for All (1979), Diner (1982) and Avalon (1990). Other iconic films, from The Natural (1982)to Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) to Sleepers (1996), have been hugely popular at the box office.

Levinson now produces films through his production company Baltimore Pictures, including critically acclaimed releases such as Quiz Show, Donnie Brasco, and The Second Civil War (HBO). In 2000 came the release of An Everlasting Piece, a story about two hairpiece salesmen in Northern Ireland, one Protestant and one Catholic. Filmed entirely on location in Ireland with an Irish cast and crew, Levinson once again tackled a serious issue with his trademark wit and humor.

Lorenzo Carcaterra

Number-one New York Times bestselling author Lorenzo Carcaterra’s highly successful career spans more than 25 years of writing for the diverse fields of fiction, non-fiction, television, and film.

First published in hardcover in 1993, A Safe Place: The True Story of a Father, a Son, a Murder, attracted widespread critical acclaim, with Newsweek calling it, “unforgettable—a remarkable book.” Currently in its 14th printing, it has been sold to 11 foreign countries and has sold close to 220,000 copies.

The 1995 publication of Sleepers, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback, catapulted Carcaterra to national attention. Sold to 35 foreign countries and now in its 38th printing in the United States, the book has sales exceeding 1.8 million copies. In 1996, Sleepers was made into a feature film starring Brad Pitt, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Bacon, Minnie Driver, and Jason Patric. Carcaterra served as co-producer on the project, which was directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson. To date, the movie has earned in excess of $500 million worldwide in combined box-office, video, DVD, and TV sales.

Carcaterra made a smooth transition into writing fiction with his first novel, Apaches, a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. Published in a 14 foreign countries, the book has sold more than 450,000 copies and been optioned by producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

In addition to books, Carcaterra has written a number of feature scripts and teleplays. Among his features are Dreamer, the story of singer Bobby Darin, for Warner Bros. and director Barry Levinson; Doubt, a thriller for Robert Lawrence and Touchstone/Disney, Street Boys for producers Steve Reuther and Paula Weinstein and director Barry Levinson and Gangster for studio boss and director Joe Roth. He has just completed work on Redemptions, co-written with Peter Gethers.

Charles J. Hynes

On November 7, 2005, Charles J. Hynes was re-elected to his fifth term as the District Attorney of Kings County (Brooklyn), New York; he was sworn into office on January 10, 2006.

In 1987, the District Attorney became the center of national attention when Governor Cuomo called on him to investigate the murder of Michael Griffith in Howard Beach, Queens. As the Special Prosecutor and Chief Trial Attorney in that case, Mr. Hynes led the investigation and prosecution which resulted in three homicide convictions.

As District Attorney, Mr. Hynes has pioneered many innovative criminal justice strategies. He started one of the first specialized domestic violence bureaus in the country and then worked with court administrators to establish one of the first domestic violence court parts in New York State. In 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Mr. Hynes started a U.S. Department of Justice–funded Family Justice Center, a one-stop-shopping service for victims of domestic violence and their surviving children. The Center is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Hynes’s mother, Regina Katherine Drew. He started one of the first Drug Treatment Alternative-to-Prison (DTAP) programs for chronic drug offenders in the country, which has rehabilitated hundreds of nonviolent drug addicts and become a model for the nation.

He has co-authored and published Incident at Howard Beach: The Case for Murder and has contributed to another book, The Regulation of Nursing Homes: A Case Study. In June of 2007, St. Martin’s Press, Thomas Dunne Imprint, published Mr. Hynes’ first novel, Triple Homicide. Mr. Hynes continues to demonstrate his commitment to public service and education by serving as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at three New York City Law Schools. He was appointed to both St. John’s and Brooklyn Law School in 1984, and Fordham University Law School in 1992.